Does a home business really need high speed internet? The answer: Kind of.
Obviously the proper answer to that question depends on your specific business, its operations and its potential growth.
Firstly it has to be said that if you plan to grow your business than high quality internet is definitely necessary – consider it an investment or future proofing your business. It’s not so much about the speed of the connection as such, it’s more about reliability. Cloud technology is undoubtedly the future of inter-organization communication, and it’s of the utmost importance that your connection can sustain constant quality connection to whichever cloud service you eventually decide to use.
I’ll repeat the sentiment – it’s not about speed, it’s about reliability.
The Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation recently released their broadband impact report which investigated the effect of high internet speeds on businesses and their publics. Perhaps most interestingly, the it found that less than half of all Australian small businesses have an internet presence, which is a sad wasted opportunity for so many of those businesses. But also it found that that it wasn’t the speed of the internet that made the difference; it was the way the internet connection was employed.
So before you invest in a super quick but super expensive connection, consider specifically what you’ll be using it for in the next 1-3 years. You may find that what you really want is greater or unlimited data rather than higher speeds – but make sure you compare unlimited internet plans, as often Internet Service Providers will advertise “unlimited internet” but actually offer an amount of data that they think you’ll need, or give you an unlimited amount that can only be used during ‘off-peak periods’, which is usually 10PM-8AM, i.e. not business hours – precisely when you need it.
These unlimited data plans are especially valuable for micro and small business home owners who use the same connection for their business as they do for their recreational use. It’s easy enough to blow through 200 gigabytes of data through recreational or business purposes (depending on the demands of your business), but if you combine the two it’s almost a sure thing that you’ll need an unlimited data plan, or at least a plan that offers a gargantuan amount of data.
The ACBI report also found that only around 70% of Australian corporations have an online presence – this stat is staggeringly low. Those corporations that make up the 30% who don’t have a web presence are dropping the ball, and by developing a web presence of your own you’ll get a small leg up on these big businesses.
Just remember, it’s not about speed, it’s what you do with it, so invest wisely.